Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

City Marshal John E. Mugan

Oceanside Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, September 24, 1916

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for City Marshal John E. Mugan

Rest In Peace Brother. It's been 101 years and you are not forgotten

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
City of Upland, CA

September 24, 2017

Marshal John E. Mugan
Oceanside Police Department
Mission San Luis Rey Cemetary
Oceanside, CA

Date of Birth: December 26, 1864
Date Appointed:
End of Watch: September 24, 1916
Reprinted from
Oceanside Blade
Sept. 30, 1916

As the result of the shooting of city Marshal J.E. Mugan of Oceanside, Sunday morning, Sept. 24, which resulted in the officer's death a few minutes later, Patrick Burk, well known as a night watch and deputy sheriff, is in jail in San Diego with a charge of murder in the first degree against him.

The shooting occurred about eight o'clock on the sidewalk in front of Trotter & Hosp's billiard room and took place in the presence of nearly a dozen people. Mugan had just walked down the street in company with Dan Thomas and stopped on the edge of the sidewalk in front of the poolroom. Burk, whom numerous witnesses state to have been under the influence of liquor, advanced with the remark, "I'll get him!" and drawing his pistol flourished it in Mugan's face, an instant later pulling the trigger. The bullet a .38-caliber, entered at the base of the neck in front and came out at the right shoulder blade. Mugan walked into the poolroom, and for an instant leaned upon a table, a moment later before anyone could reach him falling to the floor. So sudden and unexpected had been the shooting that many in the room did not realize that the bullet had taken effect until the wounded man lay gasping in the throes of death.

Woodie Jones and Charles Goss immediately seized and disarmed Burk who was again flourishing his weapon. Will Trotter arrived in a few minutes and telephoned the Sheriff's Office and Burk was turned over to Deputy Constable Spencer until taken into custody by a deputy who came up from San Diego.

The outstanding fact of the tragedy is the total unexpectedness of it. Marshal Mugan apparently had not the least warning of any hostile intentions of his assailant as evidenced by the fact that though he was armed he did not draw his revolver, which was found in its sheath on the body. So far as testified by witnesses, the only thing said by Mugan was to remark, "What are you trying to do?" as Burk flourished the deadly automatic in his face and Mugan's only action was to raise his hands in an attempt to ward off a blow from the weapon.

The inquest was held Monday morning at Smith's undertaking parlors and was in charge of Coroner Marsh. The district attorney's office was represented by Attorney Adam Thompson of San Diego. Numerous witnesses were examined. In general it was testified that Burk had just returned from San Diego where he had been drinking. It was testified that Burk asked, "Is he dead yet? I hope I got him!" Witnesses also repeated the several remarks in which Burk alluded to the deceased officer in abusive and indecent terms either previous to the shooting or as he approached him just at the time of the shooting. T.R. Lovell, a Santa Fe employee, testified that several days before he heard Burk make the statement that if Mugan ever came down the railroad yard he would "get him." J.T. Chellis stated that a little while previous Burk said to him "I would like to get just one poke at him!" referring to Mugan. C.E. Bates, who was standing in front of the Chellis barber shop at the time Burk passed down the street, testified to hearing Burk make the remark that he would "get both of them" apparently referring to Mugan and Dan Thomas who was standing with him and whom he afterwards is said to have threatened with his pistol. Tom Webler, Joe Hayes, and others gave testimony to having heard these or similar remarks. Adam Thompson, attorney for Burk, asked a few questions of witnesses during the examination but as no complaint had yet been filed against his client took but little part.

The examination took several hours, a shorthand reporter from the district attorney's office taking the testimony in detail. After a brief deliberation the jury returned a verdict that "deceased came to his death from a gunshot wound in the neck at the hands of Patrick Burk, murder." Burk was then taken back to the county jail by Sheriff Conklin who had brought him up for the inquest.

Tuesday, a charge of murder in the first degree was filed against Burk by the district attorney and the preliminary hearing was set in Justice Keating's court in San Diego for October 6.

The funeral of City Marshal John E. Mugan was held Tuesday afternoon. The funeral procession left the Smith undertaking parlors at one o'clock and proceeded to San Luis Rey where the services took place in the mission, interment being in the mission cemetery. The services were in charge of Rev. Fr. Casimer and were attended by a large concourse of sympathizing friends from Oceanside and the surrounding country, a number of comings from San Diego to be present. Many beautiful floral offerings testified to the universal respect and regard in which the deceased was held and gave proof of the sympathy of the community for the relatives in their sudden and tragic bereavement.

The pallbearers were chosen from the city officials and consist of City Trustees Rorick, Neal and Franklin, City Clerk Brodie, City Treasurer Mathews, and Recorder James. The city flag, the flags on the city schools and many other buildings in town were at half-mast during the day as a mark of respect to the departed officer.

John E. Mugan was born in San Francisco in 1864 and had resided in that city until he became of age. His life was spent in the Southwest where he engaged in mining in California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. In the latter state he was a peace officer for years being Deputy Sheriff at Tonopah and Under Sheriff at Las Vegas, Nev., for five years or more.

He came to the Oceanside section in 1889 and had resided in this county most of the time since then. He was for several years connected with the San Diego Police Department where as in many places he had warm friends who were shocked to learn of his death.

Of his immediate family, Mr. Mugan is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Q.S. Sparks of Oceanside; Mrs. May Jonas of Tonopah; and Mrs. M. Sheridan of Los Angeles.

Police Corporal, Retired
Oceanside Police Department

September 24, 2016

100 YEARS AGO TODAY, Thank you for your service

Ret Alex Alexander
Police

September 24, 2016

RIP

Matt Lyons
OSPD

June 20, 2014

Rest in Peace, Marshal Mugan. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 19, 2012

RIP Marshal Mugan! You are not forgotten!

Matt Lyons
OSPD

September 25, 2011

Marshal thanks for your service! RIP

Officer Matt Lyons
OSPD

December 21, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 93rd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya

Anonymous

September 25, 2009

RIP Marshal!

Police Corporal Matt Lyons
Oceanside Police Department

June 16, 2008

RIP! You are not forgotten!

Police Corporal Matt Lyons (Historian)
Oceanside Police Department, Cal

May 16, 2008

Rest in Peace Marshal!

Police Corporal Matt Lyons (Historian)
Oceanside Police Department, Cal

January 21, 2008

The anniversary of your death came and went! You are not forgotten nor your sacrifce1

Officer
OPD

October 1, 2007

RIP!

Chowda
OPD

May 14, 2007

Marshal Mugan yuo are not forgotten! We have lost another! His name is Danny Bessant. He is a solid decent man and one hell of a husband, father and a lawman! RIP

Police Officer
OPD

December 26, 2006

YOU WILL ALWAYS LIVE IN OUR HEARTS AND IN THE COMMUNITY
YOU SERVED.....FOR AS LONG AS WE LIVE YOU LIVE.....
MAY OUR GREAT LORD WATCH OVER YOU.....
Marshal "CC" Wilson, Marshal John Hugan and Police Officer
Tony Zeppetella.

Officer Jim Gularte
Retired OPD

October 2, 2006

With the passing of the 90th year of your murder, we remember your work and sacrifice!

matt lyons
opd

October 2, 2006

Rest in Peace! Lest we forget!

Matt Lyons
OPD

August 16, 2006

We will never forget! Yours was not in vain!

Matt Lyons
OPD

May 24, 2006

We will never forget!

Police Officer Matt Lyons
Oceanside Police Department

February 5, 2006

Rest in Peace, Marshal!

Cpl Matt Lyons
Oceanside Poliec Department

June 27, 2005

I found Marshal Mugan's grave stone and final place of rest. He is buried in the Mission San Luis Rey Cemetery, Oceanside, California near the Indian Memorial. His records are listed in the cemetery books under Johann Murgan though. His grave stone does indicate John Mugan. Rest in peace brother!

Officer Matt Lyons
Oceanside Police Department, California

January 6, 2005

Marshal Mugan, We celebrated in Oceanside, Ca. with a big parade today in a free and safe city because of your sacrifice. Thank you.

Officer Matt Lyons
Oceanside Police Department

July 3, 2004

On May 5th 2004, a memorial will be placed in front of the current Oceanside Police Department, 3855 Mission Ave, Oceanside, California honoring the lives and service of Oceanside’s fallen officers, City Marshal Charles "C.C.” Wilson; City Marshal John E. Mugan; and Police Officer Tony Zeppetella. Their sacrifices and the loss by their families is more than any community should have to ask of its Public Servants. Those who wear the badge on their chest, know all too well how quickly the ultimate price can be made in the pursuit of peace and civility. Whether the life is taken during the 19th Century or present day, each is valued in its loss and impact on the betterment of society. Better to have stood in the face of tyranny and fallen for a cause greater than you in hopes that others may enjoy peace, than to have recognized malice and not have acted! God Bless Marshal Wilson, Marshal Mugan and Officer Zeppetella. You did your duty! Rest in peace! We will continue your work!

Officer Matt Lyons
Oceanside Police Department

May 3, 2004

On May 5th 2004, a memorial will be placed in front of the current Oceanside Police Department, 3855 Mission Ave, Oceanside, California honoring the lives and service of Oceanside’s fallen officers, City Marshal Charles "C.C.” Wilson; City Marshal John E. Mugan; and Police Officer Tony Zeppetella. Their sacrifices and the loss by their families is more than any community should have to ask of its Public Servants. Those who wear the badge on their chest, know all too well how quickly the ultimate price can be made in the pursuit of peace and civility. Whether the life is taken during the 19th Century or present day, each is valued in its loss and impact on the betterment of society. Better to have stood in the face of tyranny and fallen for a cause greater than you in hopes that others may enjoy peace, than to have recognized malice and not have acted! God Bless Marshal Wilson, Marshal Mugan and Officer Zeppetella. You did your duty! Rest in peace! We will continue your work!

Officer Mat Lyons
Oceanside Police Department

May 3, 2004

Merry Christmas! Marshal Mugan you are remembered!

Officer Matt Lyons
Oceanside Police Department

December 18, 2003

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.